In 2009, James Franco wanted to appear in a soap opera, so he used his connections to score a role in “General Hospital.” He explained that he wanted his character to be an artist who was a bit nuts, so the named the character Franco, after the actor's last name.
After James Franco left the show Roger Howarth took up the mantle of Franco Baldwin. Haworth played the character for the better part of a decade before Franco Baldwin was killed off the show in 2021.
The character settled in as an art therapist at Port Charles, until Peter August shot him in the chest. However, the soap did not fire Howarth and soon brought him back as a different character, Austin Gatlin Holt.